EU official 'very worried' about Johan Floderus amid captivity in Iran

The family of Johan Floderus, pictured here, said over the weekend that he has been held in "unacceptable" conditions in Iran. Photo courtesy #FreeJohanFloderus
1 of 2 | The family of Johan Floderus, pictured here, said over the weekend that he has been held in "unacceptable" conditions in Iran. Photo courtesy #FreeJohanFloderus

Sept. 11 (UPI) -- The European Commissioner of Home Affairs broke her silence on Monday about Iran holding a European Union official from Sweden for more than a year.

Ylva Johansson, who is also from Sweden, said authorities are making every effort to get Iranian authorities to free Johan Floderus from an Iranian prison where he has been held for 512 days. Sweden and the EU had negotiated in private with Iran until last week.


"I'm very sad. I'm very worried," Johansson said. "And this has been with me for such a long time now."

Floderus turned 33 while in captivity Sunday as his family issued a statement saying he has been held in "unacceptable" conditions that violate the United Nations Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners including a cell that is lit for 24 hours.

"His need for adequate food rations outside walks, medical checkups and much more are not respected," the family added. "His exposure to fresh air and sunlight is restricted to only three and a half hours per week. In blatant disregard of international guidelines, he has spent more than 300 days in solitary confinement."

The family added it took five months before Iran offered a consular meeting to Floderus and that he had also been denied communication with the Swedish embassy "except for a very few number of consular visits" and has only been allowed to make "one short phone call per month" beginning in February.


"He had to go on hunger strike to be allowed to make several of these calls which have to be in English and monitored. They could be forcibly ended if subjects are 'wrong.' One video call has been granted," they said.

Flowers had worked for the European External Action Service when he was detained in Tehran on April 17, 2022. He was preparing to leave the country while on a private tourist trip with several Swedish friends before being taken into custody.

Floderus rose through the ranks in the European Union's civil service agency to become a member of the diplomatic corps. His family said Floderus had traveled to Iran on official bloc business for humanitarian projects.

Josep Borrell, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said last week they were doing everyone in their power to negotiate Floderus's freedom.

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